advice on vectorizing .jpg

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by emt8q5, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. emt8q5 macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2007
    so my company paid one of the partner's sons $250 to create us a new logo. The final logo was delivered as a 108x70 jpg. My requests to get a source file (either .psd or vector based (.ai/.eps) have gone unanswered. Nevertheless, I need to have a 4'x4' banner created by the end of the week.

    I'm currently running CS5 and I'd call myself moderately proficient with Illustrator and Photoshop but I'm having some trouble vectorizing the image. I've got the letters down, but the striped roadway is proving difficult. I'm curious if anyone has any tips or advice as to the best method to accurately copy the curved roadway portion of the image?

    Also, I'm curious where people go (other than MR) for advice like this? any suggestions on good tips/tricks forums for CS5?

    Thanks for any advice!

    Attached Files:

  2. panoz7 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    I'd just trace it with the pen tool. At that low of a resolution I doubt any of the automated solutions will work particularly well. I attached a quick two minute trace. I'm sure you can do better with a bit more time.

    Attached Files:

  3. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    I'd spend an hour or so trying to auto trace it. Get really angry about the rubbish results in just about all the trace presets - mutter a lot about how much better streamline was - then having lost my temper - take a deep breath and re-draw it by hand.

    Probably only take 20 mins or so and look a lot better. (You'll be able to get those sweeping curves with a couple of points. The lettering I'd probably just re typeset - outline then adjust the points, if you've got a decent eye for typefaces you'll get it spot on.)

    I'd be nervous of any trace results if being blown right up to a large format anyway.
  4. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kids can sometimes come up with great things, but they are also famous for being flakey. That's why I never hire them.

    The fix to your problem is relatively easy. What I would do is print out the logo on plain paper around 3" by 3". Buy some tracing paper and trace over it with a finepoint pen. Go slow and use a strait edge when needed. The more accurate you are the easier it will vectorize later... though it shouldn't take more than 10 or 15 minutes to trace it. Once you have a decent trace, scan at 300 dpi and take it into Illustrator (though you might do a roundtrip into Photoshop to clean it up a bit). Once you have it in Illustrator, put it in it's own layer and then lock it. Create a new layer over the top and using the pen tool, zoom in and trace the image making correction for any defects and alignment issues as you go. The logo is pretty simple so this whole process from start to finish shouldn't take more than an hour.

    Oh, and before anyone asks.. the reason it has to be printed and retraced is that the original version would be too pixelated to trace over unless you know what you are doing. Printing and retracing it will make the logo easier to vectorize.

    If you don't have the tools or are not familiar with them, I'd recommend hiring someone to recreate the logo for you.
  5. emt8q5 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2007
    Hey folks,

    It took me a couple of hours of playing around but I wound up redrawing it myself and I learned a bit more about illustrator as

    Thanks for all the help!
  6. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2008
    What i'd do is draw the yellow section as one smooth line, then add the breaks in later so you know it smooth and lined up the whole way through.

    The letters should be easy enough to create, just make sure you use rulers to line everything up. When i work in vector i have tons of rulers all over the place to make sure nothing is out of line.
  7. bocomo macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    New York
    this is the loooooong way around

    why not run Live Trace on the jpg in Illustrator?

    but really, the logo is simple enough to just draw it fresh with the pen tool
  8. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Using the pen tool in illustrator would be the easiest way IMO, live trace is pretty hit and miss whenever I have used it. It would make the job much easier if you at least knew the font used.

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